NEW YORK—Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who leads the coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns, showed the uptick in out-of-state guns used in New York City crimes at City Hall on July 31. Bloomberg said 90 percent of guns used in crimes came from out of state, up five percent from 2009.
“We have done what can do here, but unfortunately it is very easy to carry a gun from one state to another,” Bloomberg said. “We really do have an interest in what goes on in the rest of this country.”
Virginia leads the country where most of the out-of-state guns originate, with 322 in 2011, the last year the data was provided.
John Feinblatt, Bloomberg’s chief policy advisor, said Virginia not only has no background checks for guns, but the Virginia Legislature repealed laws limiting gun purchases to one per month.
Bloomberg wants to see national changes in gun laws. He was supportive of the sweeping legislation that did not pass Congress this past session.
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“To those who say stay out of our state, our answer is, we would love to—just as soon as you stop letting guns seep into the black market and into the hands of criminals used to murder our citizens,” Bloomberg said.
So far this year 1787 guns have been taken off the streets when individuals were arrested, 408 through buy-back programs, and 317 by people who surrendered them at police stations. The city is seeing record low murder rates, with 176 murders through July 21, the last week the data is available. By comparison there were 243 murders at this point last year.
Bloomberg said in addition to using his bully pulpit for the remainder of the year while in office, he will continue to pour his personal fortune into supporting candidates who are in favor of tougher gun laws.
“There is no question that shining a spotlight on people who are acting illegally, the fact that our background system is full of holes, makes a difference,” said Feinbatt.